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* lead and iron, he judged it impossible to remove them by any human power. Marcellus seeing the timidity of the præfect, sent him away to other cities. Himself made his supplica
tion to the Deity for directions how to accomplish his design. In the morning there came to • him of his own accord, a man who was neither a carpenter nor a mason, nor skilful in any em
ployment, but only had been wont to carry wood and stones upon his shoulders. He assured • Marcellus that he could easily pull down the temple if he would but allow him pay for two workmen, which was readily promised him. He then proceeded in this manner: the temple was built upon an eminence, surrounded by a portico on all the four sides, with large pillars * reaching up to the top of the temple. The pillars were sixteen feet in circumference, of a • very firm stone, not easy to be pierced by the iron instruments of the mason. The workmen
dug round each pillar, going from one to another, and laid wood of olives under them. In * that manner he had undermined three of the pillars, and then set fire to the wood.
Buta a • black dæmon appeared and hindered the operation of the fire. This was done several times. Seeing then that they were not able to advance, they came to Marcellus when he was asleep at rest in the afternoon, and told him of it. Whereupon he went to the divine temple, and put
water under the divine altar; and prostrating himself with his face to the ground, he entreated “the merciful Lord to restrain the influence of the dæmon, and at once to manifest his weakness, . and his own power, lest the unbelieving should take occasion to harden themselves yet more • and more. Having finished his prayer, he signed the water with the sign of the cross, and 'gave it to his deacon Equitius, who was full of faith and zeal; and bade him go presently and sprinkle the place with the water, and then put fire to it, trusting in the power of God. Which being done, the dæmon, not enduring the force of the water, fled away. The fire then kindling the water, like oil, burnt with fierceness. The wooden props were presently con! sumed, and the three pillars by which they had been supported fell to the ground, and the other • twelve pillars with them. The side of the temple which adjoined to them fell likewise. The * sound was heard throughout the whole city. When they heard how the dæmon had been put to flight, all the Christians in the place lift up their voices in hymns to the god of the universe.
That divine man destroyed all the other temples thereabout; and there are many other wonderful I things that might be said of him ; for he wrote letters to the invincible martyrs, and received • letters from them; at length he also obtained the crown of martyrdom. But I forbear to ‘ proceed any farther, that I may not be tedious to the readers.'
What has been omitted by Theodoret, we may find in Sozomen, to whom therefore we now proceed. He says that, in many places the Greeks defended their temples and fought for * them. This was the case of the people of Petra and Areopolis in Arabia : of Rapha and : Gaza in Palestine ; of Heliopolis in Phænicia, and particularly of the Syrians in Apamea, near • the river Axius ; who, as I have been informed, did several times call in to their assistance • the Galileans, and people of other villages near mount Libanus. At length their audaciousness • proceeded so far as to kill Marcellus bishop of the place. For d perceiving that they were not
otherwise to be brought off from their old way of worship, he was very intent upon destroying : their temples in the cities and villages. And when he heard that there was a large temple in · Aulonis, which was in the territory of the Apaméans, taking with him some soldiers and gla
diators, he went thither: but when he came near, he staid at a place out of the reach of darts; • for he was lame in his feet, and was unable to fight; nor could he pursue or flee.
When the • soldiers and gladiators were employed in pulling down the temple, some of the Greeks, understanding that he was alone, in a place quite out of the battle, they went thither; and coming upon him all on a'sudden, they laid hold on him, and threw him into the fire, where he died. « For a while this was a secret. But afterwards, when the authors were known, the sons of • Marcellus were desirous to have the death of their father avenged: but a synod of that · country forbade it, saying, it was not fit that vengeance should be taken for such a death, for • which they had cause to be thankful, both he that had died, and also his kindred and friends, • as having been thought worthy to die for God.'
δαιμων τις φαινομενος μελας, και κωλυων της φλογος την ενεργειαν. κ. λ. p. 227. D. b Sozom. 1. 7. cap. xv. p. 725, 726.
• Εισετι δε κατα πολεις τινας προθυμως υπερεμαχοντο των vawy ai 'E22.7Visai. p. 725. B. C,
d Λογισαμενος γαρ ως ουκ αλλας αυτους ραδιον μετατεθηναι της προτερας θρησκειας, τες ανα την πολιν και τας κυμας ναος κατεσρεψατο. Πυθομενος δε μεγισον ειναι καιν εν τω Αυλωνι. κλιμα δε τοτο της Απαμεων χωρας" σρατιωτας τινας και μόνομαχες παραλαβων, επι τετο ηει. p. 725. C. D.
These two stories are joined together by · Nicephorus, and told by him in connexion, placing them in the same order that I have done, first rehearsing the history in Theodoret, and then that from Sozomen.
And now upon these accounts we may make some remarks.
1. In the first place it must appear somewhat strange to all, that so learned a man as Theodoret should speak of a dæmon of • a black colour,' and ascribe to him the interruption which Marcellus met with in accomplishing his design. It is also very strange that he should ascribe the downfall of the temple of Jupiter at Apaméa to a miraculous interposition. The demolition of that temple was effected by natural means, as well as the demolition of the other temple at · Aulonis, mentioned by Sozomen. The workman who offered his service to Marcellus was not an architect, but he had laboured under good architects. When he came to Marcellus, he assured him that he could easily overthrow the temple, if he would allow him pay for two helpers under him. And doubtless he so undermined the pillars and wall of the temple, that all fell to the ground, when he had set fire to the wooden props, which he had set up to support them for a while, that they might not fall till he and his under workmen were withdrawn.
2. The first of these temples, that at Apaméa, if not also the other, at A:llonis, was demolished by Marcellus, before there were any imperial edicts for pulling down heathen temples.
This, I think, may be well argued from Theodoret's introduction to the story told by him. For it was done soon after that the præfect of the East came to Apaméa, meaning Cynegius, as Valesius also supposed. But Cynegius died in 388, when there were yet no orders from Theodosius for pulling down of temples. By Zosimus we are assured that the commission of Cynegius, who was now going to igypt, was only to forbid sacrifices, and shut up the temples. Which is agreeable to the sentiment of James Gothofred in his notes upon the oration of Libanius for the temples.
3. The zeal of Marcellus is indeed very extraordinary, and I humbly conceive unjustifiable. He acted without imperial authority. And if he had such authority, I cannot say that such laws are equitable. I think that the bishops should neither have demolished heathen temples themselves, nor advised the emperor to shut them up and pull them down. Is it not an extraordinary thing, to see a bishop of the Christian rite leave the place of his residence, and go into the country with a troop of soldiers and“ gladiators at his heels, to demolish a beautiful and
gnificent edifice, which might in time be converted into a temple for the worship of the living God? Whether he acts upon his own private judgment only, or with imperial authority, it makes no great difference. The duty of Christian ministers is to “preach the word, to be instant in season, and out of season, to exhort with all long suffering and doctrine;" 2 Tim. iv. 2. And they should have advised the Christian emperors to tolerate and protect all peaceable subjects of every denomination : punishing all, and only those who disturbed the peace by a riotous behaviour. There can be no question made, but in this way truth would have prevailed, and much more, and better than by the injurious proceedings of the bishops and clergy of this time. I presume that the apostle Paul had a true zeal for his lord and master Jesus Christ, and that he knew, as well as any others, the best way of propagating his religion in the world : who says,
“ the servant of the Lord must not strive, [fight, pegerous] but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient: in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth;” 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25.
Finally, therefore, the synod of that country was much in the right to determine that the death of Marcellus ought not to be avenged. He had brought it upon himself by his violent proceedings against his neighbours, who indeed were erroneous, but nevertheless were quiet and peaceable, so far as appears, and therefore should not have been disturbed nor provoked.
* Niceph. 1. 12. c. 17. p. 276-278.
de templis occludendis diruendisve promulgata fuisset : quod b Zos. I. 4. p. 762. The words of Zosimus are transcribed Libanius hac oratione exerte testatur. Gothofred. in Liban. above, at p. 407. note «.
Orat. p. 39, 40. See also Tillem. L'Emp. Theodos. art. 58. • Quo tempore etiam passim in oriente, et quidem in Sy- p. 672. in the notes. tia, templa per Monachos, Episcopos, et Clericos, dirueban- d For novou.27,85, gladiators, I have had a mind to put tur, vel ut diruerentur, iidem agebant. Quales sane hoc tem- povayas, monks. But it is the same reading both in Sozo. pore extitere Joannes Chrysostomus, tum presbyter Antio- men and Nicephorus. Otherwise I should have chosen the chenus, ab A. D. 386 ad: 398, ut vitæ ejus scriptores edo- latter out of respect to Marcellus ; though either is bad cent; item Marcellus Apaméæ episcopus, de quo Theodore- enough. tus l. 5. cap. 21. cum nulla adhuc constitutio a Theodosio M.
Nor would the emperor Theodosius, as we may remember, allow them to be avenged, who had suffered death from heathen people, in their attempts to demolish the temple of Serapis at Alexandria,
A pretended Heathen Oracle foretelling the Period of the Christian Religion.
AUGUSTINE, in his work of the City of God, tells us that, “some Gentiles uneasy at the long • duration of the Christian religion, published some Greek verses, as received from an oracle
which some person had consulted, wherein it was declared that it should subsist for three hun• dred and five and sixty years, and then fall to the ground : where also Christ is represented as • innocent, and it is said that Peter, by his magical arts, had brought it about that Christ should • be worshipped so long.'
Upon this oracle Augustine makes divers observations. He also considers when the beginning of this period should be dated : · He thinks not from the nativity of Jesus, but from his • resurrection, or the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples, when the revelation of • the gospel was completed, and men were every where called upon to believe in Jesus Christ • crucified, and risen from the dead. According to this computation, and in his way of reck
oning, that period of three hundred and five and sixty years, would expire in the consulship • of Honorius and Eutychianus, the year of Christ 398. And, in the next, in the consulship • of Manlius Theodorus, according to the oracle of dæmons, or the fiction of men, the Christian • religion would cease to be any where. But in that very year, without inquiring what was done • in other parts of the earth, he says the counts Gaudentius and Jovius, by order of the empe• ror Honorius, destroyed the temples, and broke the images of false gods in Carthage, the principal city of Africa. Since which time, now for the space of almost thirty years, the Christian religion has spread and flourished, and many have been converted to the faith, seeing the evi• dent falsehood of that pretended oracle on which they had for a while relied.'
We may hence see that the Gentiles did all they could to uphold their falling religion. But fictions, when detected and exposed, in the end weaken the cause for the sake of which they are contrived.
The Demolition of the Temple of Cælestis at Carthage in the year 399. The demolition of the temple of the goddess Coelestis at Carthage is also spoken 'of at the year 399 by several of our ' ecclesiastical historians. The history of this event is taken from the
a See before, p. 470.
• Sed hæc quia evangelica sententia est, mirum non est eâ repressos fuisse deorum multorum falsorumque cultores, quo minus fingerent dæmonum responsis, quos tamquam deos colunt, definitum esse quanto tempore niansura esset religio Christiana. Cum enim viderent, nec tot tantisque persecutionibus eam potuisse consumi, sed his potius mira incrementa sumsisse, excogitaverunt nescio quos versus Græcos tamquam consulenti cuidam divino oraculo effusos, ubi Christum quidem ab hujus tamquam sacrilegii crimine faciunt innocentem, Petrum autem maleficiis fecisse subjungunt, ut coleretur Christi nomen per trecentos sexaginta quinque annos, deinde completo memorato numero annorum sine mora sumeret finem. De. Civ. Dei, 1. 18. cap. 53.
< Sed quoniam prius quam passus esset, et resurrexit a mortuis, nondum fides omnibus fuerat definita melius in hac quæstione solvendå inde initium sumimus, præsertim quia tunc datus est Spiritus Sanctus- -Ibi ergo exorsus est hujus noininis cultus, ut in Christum Jesum, qui crucifixus fuerat, et resurrexerat, crederetur-Ac per hoc colligitur etiam dies,
ex quo annus ipse sumsit initium, scilicet quando missus est Spiritus Sanctus, id est, per Idus Maias. Numeratis proinde Consulibus, trecenti sexaginta quinque anni reperiantur iinpleti per easdem idus consulatu Honorii et Eutychiani. Porro sequenti anno, Consule Manlio Theodoro, quando jam secundum illud oraculum dæmonum, aut figmentum hominum, nulla religio Christiana, quid per alias terrarum partes forsitan factuin sit, non fuit necesse perquirere. Interim quid scimus in civitate notissimâ et eminentissimâ Carthagine Africæ Gaudentius et Jovius comites Imperatoris Honorii, quarto-decimo Kalendas Aprilis falsorum deorum templa everterunt, et simulacra fregerunt. Ex quo usque ad hoc tempus per triginta ferme annos quis non videat, quantum creverit cultus nominis Christi, præsertim postea quam multi corum Christiani facti sunt, qui tamquam verâ illâ divinatione revocabantur a fide, eamque completo eodem annorum nu. mero inanem ridendamque viderunt? Id. ib. cap. liv.
Pagi 399. xi. xii. Basnag. 399. vii. Tillem. Honoré. art. xiii.
book of Promises and Predictions, sometimes ascribed to Prosper of Aquitain, but not his, and probably written by an African. This Cælestis is by some supposed to be the same as Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians.
* At Carthage in Africa,' says that writer, there was a magnificent temple of prodigious * magnitude, encompassed also by temples of all the gods. The place was surrounded with • beautiful walls, the streets well paved with stones, and adorned with pillars; the whole in
compass not much less than two miles. It having been shut up some while before, and after * that neglected, was grown over with thorns and thistles. And when the Christians proposed to
apply it to the uses of their own religion, the Gentile people exclaimed against it, crying out, • that there were dragons and asps which guarded the temple, so that it would be dangerous to 6 come near. But the Christians, instead of being terrified thereby, were the more animated • with a desire to clear the ground, and consecrate the place to the truly heavenly King, their • Lord. It was now time of Easter; and in the presence of a great multitude of people, when • that great prelate, and father of many priests, placed his chair in the seat of the goddess • Cælestis, and took possession of it, I myself,' says the writer, was there with my friends and • companions ; and rambling about with curious eyes, as young people are apt to do, we saw an • inscription in large brass letters in the front of the temple : The PontiFF AURELIUS DEDICATED " THIS TEMPLE. When we observed it, we could not but admire the disposal of Providence, • which had afforded a prophetical intimation of this event, and that this temple should be now consecrated by the prelate Aurelius :' meaning him who was then bishop of Carthage.
This temple had been shut up for some while, ever since the year 391, or thereabout, as is supposed, agreeable to some law of Theodosius about that time for shutting up the Gentile temples.
The inscription here referred to is supposed by learned men to have been upon a pedestal, over which was placed the image of the goddess Cælestis.
To the Invincible
An Image of Hercules destroyed by the Christians at Suffecta in Africa.
About the same timed a temple of Hercules was attacked by the Christians at Suffecta, a Roman colony, and the image of Hercules was destroyed; but the Gentiles resisted, and killed at least sixty Christians. Upon this occasion Augustine wrote a short but severe letter to the magistrates and principal men of the colony. He tells them that, they had lost all regard for - the Roman laws, and cast off the fear and reverence due to the emperors.' He tells them that • for a sum of money they could purchase for them another Hercules. There is no want of me. • tal, or stone, or fine marble; and artificers may be had. Another Hercules may be procured
a See Vol. iii. p. 22.
veniens multitudo, sacerdotum multorum pater, et dignæ b Apud Africam Carthagini Cælestis inesse ferebant tem- memoriæ nominandus antistes Aurelius, cælestis jam patriæ plum nimis amplum, omnium deorum suorum ædibus valla- civis, cathedram illic loco cælestis et habuit, et sedit
. Ipse tum. Cujus platea lithostrota, pavimento ac pretiosis co- tunc aderam cum sociis et amicis; atque, ut se adolescentium lumnis et mænibus decorata, prope in duobus fere millibus ætas impniens circumquaque vertebat, dum curiosi singula passuum protendebatur. Cum diutius clausum incuriâ, spi- quæque pro magnitudine inspicimus, inirum quoddam et innosa virguia circumseptum obruerent, velletque popolus credibile nostro se ingessit aspectui, titulus æneis grandioriChristianus usui veræ religionis vindicare, dracones, aspidesque busque literis in fron ispicio templi conscriptus : AURELIUS: illic esse ob custodiam templi, Gentilis populus clamitabat. PONTIFEX DEDICAVIT. Hunc legentes populi mirabantur, Quo magis Christiani fervore succensi, eà facilitate omnia præsago spiritu acta, quæ præscius Dei ordo certo isto fine amoverunt illæsi, quâ templum vero Cælesti Regi ac Domino concluserat. De Promiss. et Prædict. Dei. Part. 3. Cap. 38 consecrarent. Nam cum sancta Paschæ solennis ageretur c Vide Pagi 399. xii. festivitas, collecta illic et undique omni curiositate etiam ad- « Vide Pagi 399. xiii, Tillem. L'Emp. Honoré. art. xiv.
as well turned and beautiful as the other ; but they were not able to restore the souls of those • whom they had destroyed.'
So writes Augustine: he ridicules them handsomely; but I see no threatenings of severe vengeance. However, he charges them strongly with violation of the Roman laws, and disrespect to the authority of the emperors; and I suppose, leaves the punishment to the imperial officers.
A Disturbance at Calama in Numidia in the year 408.
THE Gentile superstition, as • Pagi says, was destroyed gradually. First of all sacrifices were forbidden, then other rites, and lastly, feasts and other solemnities.
I shall therefore now take notice of a disturbance that happened at Calama, a Roman colony in Numidia, as related by Augustine, and placed by some in the year 408, by others in 409. It followed soon after a law enacted by Honorius in the year 407 or 408, in which the solemnities of the Gentiles are expressly prohibited.
The disturbance is particularly related by Augustine in one of his letters : : On the first day of June, in contempt of laws lately enacted, the Pagans celebrated one of their sacrilegious solemnities, without prohibition from any, passing through the streets, and dancing before • the church in an insolent manner, not practised even in the times of Julian. And when some • ecclesiastics attempted to interrupt them, they threw stones against the church.'
• About eight days after, when the bishop put the chief men of the city in mind of the laws, of which they were not before ignorant, and when they were going to take some care of the • affair, as the laws directed, those insolent people again threw stones at the church. The next
day the ecclesiastics, in order to restrain those people by the dread of the laws, went to the
magistrates, desiring to enter a process against them; but were refused. On the same day, as * if the Divine Being had interposed to fill them with terror, there fell a heavy hail in return for « their shower of stones. But as soon as it was over they began the third time to throw stones, * and also set fire to some of the dwellings of the ecclesiastics : and they actually killed one ser* vant of God [meaning, as I suppose, à monk], whom they met with, the rest hiding them
a Immanitatis vestræ famosissimum scelus, et inopinata d Contra recentissimas leges, Calendis Juniis festo Pagano«crudelitas terram concutit, et percutit cælum, ut in plateis ac rum sacrilego solennitas agiiata est, nemine probibente, lam delubris vestris eluceat sanguis, et resonet bomicidium. Apud insolente ausu, et quod nec Juliani temporibus factum est, petuvos Romanze sepultæ sunt leges, judiciornm rectorum cal- lantissima turba saltantium in eodem prorsus vico ante fores catus est terror: Imperatorum certe nulla veneratio, nec timor. transiret ecclesiæ. Quam rem illicitissiinam et indignissimam Apud vos ex numero fratrum innocens effusus est sanguis, et clericis prohibere tentantibus, ecclesia lapidata est Deinde post si quis plures occidit, functus est laudibus, et in vestram cu- dies ferme octo, cum leges notissimas episcopus ordini replicassiam tenuit principatum. Age nunc, principalem veniamus set,et dum ea que jussa sunt, velut implere disponunt, iterum ad causam. Si Herculem vestrum dixeritis, porro reddemus. ecclesia lapidata est. Postridie nostris, ad imponendum perAdsunt metalla, saxa nec desunt. Accedunt marmorum ge- ditis metum, quod videbatur apud Acta dicere volentibus nera, suppetit artiticam copia. Cæterum Deus rester cum publica jura negata sunt. Eodemque ipso die, ut vel dividiligentiâ sculpitur, tornatur, et ornatur. Addimus et rubri- vitus terrerentur, grando lapidationibus reddita est: qua transcam, quæ pingit ruborem, quo possint vestra sacra sonare. acta continuo tertiam lapidationem, et postremo ignes eccleNam si vestrum Herculem dixeritis, collatis singulis nummis siasticis tectis et hominibus intulerunt: unum servum Dei, qui ab artifice vestro emimus Deum. Reddite igitur animas, oberrans occurrere potuit, occiderunt, cæterus partim ubi poquas manus vestra contorsit ; et sicuti a nobis vester Hercu- terant latitantes, partim quâ potuerant fugientes: cun inteles redhibetur, sic etiam a vobis tantorum animæ reddantur, rea contrusus atque coarctatus quodam loco se occultaret episAug. Ep. 50. al. 238.
copus, vbi se ad mortem quæremium voces audiebat, sibi in• Ex his liquet, quibusnam gradibus Gentilium superstitio crepantium, quod eo non invento gratis tantum perpetrâssent pessumdata fuerit. Primo quidem sacrificia tantum prohibita ; scelus. Gesta sunt hæc ab horâ tere.decimâ usque ad noctis mox et alii ritus gentilitii ; tandem etiam et convivia solenni- partem non minimam. Nemo compescere, nemo subvenire tatesque aliæ vetitæ. Pagi. ann. 399. num. ix.
tentavit illorum, quorum esse gravis posset auctoritas,- -&c. « Vide Pagi. A. D. 399. xiv. Tillem. St. Augustin, art. 171. Aug. Ep. 91. al. 202. sect. 8.